Does Bill Weld … matter?

April 18th, 2019

George Wallace’s primary in 1964 argued for some troubles in a distant future, Eugene McCarthy in 1968 coaxed Bobby Kennedy in, Ronald Reagan had fun in 1976 as did Teddy Kennedy in 1980 dividing their parties… and Pat Buchanan in 1992 demonstrated a leaky support at one end of his electorate…

Even the Republican challenger to Nixon in 1972 had a Republican constituency to it, bad showing notwithstanding.

We can even point to the odd primary battles Obama faced in 2012 against gadfly progressive bloggers and mullet headed felons in some rust belt as showing up with Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton and then slumping forth to Trump… the erosion of a part of the Democratic base.

The question before us:  Does the primary challenge of Bill Weld… matter?  It’s a tough nut to crack, in terms of finding just what his constituency is — because, ultimately, we’re circling back to mostly a campaign against boorishness and a bit of cronyish behavors…

Is Weld running on free trade — ironically setting himself up against just the thing Pat Buchanan (the last major party candidate challenge to an incumbent that mattered or showed some wobbliness for the incumbent) was running against —

Buchanan sometimes seen as a proto-Trump, his ’92 campaign a show for the future…

The problem with it all is… Trump’s deviations from any Republican Orthodoxy on domestic policy has ended up checked by the Republican Congress critters, and one Mitch McConnell.

Foreign policy hawkishness?  (Never ever talk to North Korea’s depot)  Hell — foreign policy dove-ishness (Rip off the Iranian deal, why do you?)    Maybe

“Insulting our allies, eroding our military alliances abroad, cozying up to dictators—there’s no limit to the damage that can be done.”

After an odd hic-up on “spending” (sure, and we’ll see if there’s a constituency there) … We’re swerve down to immigration.  I guess bringing us back to Bush 2000 and his attempts (successful) at bringing in Hispanic and Latin Americans to the Republican fold.  Reform ICE or displace it.  Perhaps he can hammer out a policy that the Democrats can pluck up.

“Twenty states do permit . . . crossover voting, which is more than a beachhead. I’m looking forward to the campaign.”

Might any Democrat sneak over and throw their hands up at the odd clown car nature of the Democratic primary and tip up Weld’s number to something symbolically embarrassing?  (Of course, the marker there would be George Wallace in 1964 amongst some Michigan Republicans — and that didn’t count for anything much in the general election.)

Other than that, pulling together the slice of the vanished “Never Trump” Republicans into one tent directed to voting for him will be a “we’ll see”.

Next question: after shaping his politics for a play in Libertarian Party politics… is he shape-shifting a bit more again?  (The good news is drug policy has come to be not horribly determinable… though Trump’s “Jeff Sessions” policy had held up the rearguard pretty well.)

a dumb trump tweet here, and the emerging debate

April 16th, 2019

“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”

It appears this tweet from the President was deleted.  Judiciously, I suppose, as it was immediately mocked, or corrected: “wouldn’t help.”  My comment upon hearing of Notre Dame’s fire — “Wow.  That’s insane”.  My comment upon hearing about the President’s tweet: “that’s a parody, right?”

Nay.  Of course not.

“I play this game in my head.  President Trump or President Bush –”
“Oh, you mean who said it?”
“No.  I mean, who do I prefer…”
“Oh, god.  Like it’s come to that point where we have that idea.”
“Because, most people right now would say ‘of course President Bush’, but… I don’t know — there’s some areas where I’m vaguely in some aspect in agreement, like –” (hobble to justify my premise) “, or at least in some understanding of how the voters in Wisconsin and rural Michigan voted for him.  And, like… some area of –”
“I understand”
“Some things with an isolationist foreign policy, for instance, if he could ever stick to parts of it, but… But then he goes ahead and blows it.”
“Look.  I’ll say.  Give me a choice Trump versus Bush and I’ll say — Obama, and leave it at that.”
“Or, I end up in accidental agreement.  Like, he comes out and says ‘send the illegal immigrants to the sanctuary cities’, and I’m thinking — ‘yeah.  sounds good.  as opposed to the ice facilities’, but then I think… no f— you for making me agree with you.”

a theory for a Joseph Biden run

April 10th, 2019

1.  Polls show Joseph Biden strengthened in position despite — or, maybe in a way because of, the streaming of his tendency to touch down on women over the years.  (Notable in that some of those photographed brush away the controversy and are irked that they become part of the issue — “it’s just Joe”.

2.  There’s this weird bit of either situational political correctness for partisan reasons on the part of the conservative media or of attempted calls of hypocrisy for partisan lines with Alexandria O. Cortez and her slipping into a black vernacular.  No, it’s not “verbal black-face” — it’s the nature of American slang: adoptions from black culture.  (Self described nerds, and close your eyes and envision the parody, cling  to the Standard King’s English.  Or the parody of the “white kid trying too hard.”)  But I’m stuck on the question: what are the opponents trying to get at here?

3.  New York Times has a story today reiterating the dynamics we’ve seen: white progressives are more “woke” or “liberal” than some of the allies they’re trying to rally around — case in point: the governor of Virginia shouldn’t resign, says more black Virginians than white Democrats.  I largely would agree, though the governor’s particular offense stretches one’s tolerance toward tossing aside the misdeeds of the past.  (If it were down to an impersonation of Michael Jackson, the one thing he’s gone ahead to admit to, I would have less of a problem.)  This translates further to an abrupt difference between the “liberal twittersphere” / social media land and the Democratic polity at large — which we have seen reverberated in the past generation and more — just ask President Howard Dean.

4.  Oddly, Biden’s transgressions may just play right up against Trump’s transgressions in this way of “Look.  If this were what Trump had done, we wouldn’t have a problem”.  All too human, you see, and an understanding of changing norms and what different things mean off camera.  (Such that Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” statement ended up trumping Trump’s Hollywood Minute.)

5.  For a presidential campaign against Donald Trump, perhaps Joseph Biden should calculatingly slip in small controversies and “gaffes” of a kind — just to innoculate criticism of the political correct nature, and for that matter prove a weird sort of “Sister Souljah Moment” vibe against any of a particular harsh breed of “Social Justice Warriors”.  I know an Indian (the sub-continent) who mocks any controversy on Biden’s once statement about how they came in and conquered the convenience store market and good on them — shocking in the age of Apu bashing, but… no one cares for the Apu bashers.  (The person in question made the mistake of remembering the candidate who made the “macaca” reference where everyone just rolled their eyes.  I had to correct him, and in his odd stated political incorrect identity and Democratic allegiance had to sigh “well, the Democrats are the party of that, so…”)

why do you hate romance?

April 5th, 2019

A few weeks ago, I tripped over a stray comment in a theater review in the Willamette Week, telling of… something pernicous in our liberal / left.  That puritanism which sits there.

The genre, known for its dramatic, hyperbolic flair, is often steeped in the travails of love and romance—and typically only between a man and a woman. That antiquated idea of finding oneself in the “true love” of another is slow to get a rewrite.

A declaration of fiat, I suppose, to declare common experiences — and perhaps fantasy experiences — ‘out-dated’.  Unhappy not much so that the trans-gendered experience as a transgendered isn’t represented in the arts and media and fiction and is swamped over by the cis experience, but that her experience of non romantic love is swamped over that old chestnut which has always fluttered about Top 40 radio.
Or do trans-gendered not have infatuations?

It may be that the sequel to some “true lover” fantasy gets buried in reality.  Merill Markoe did a hilarious put down of “Pretty Woman”.  For that matter, Robert Crumb had a funny comic about the Mo-Town hit “My Guy”.  (Contentious-wise on purpose — Crumb is enjoying a bit of a kerfaufau right now in the new generation of comic artists’ denunciation of some of his material).

I get trapped in a kind of Hell with some of the analysis.  A worthwhile book, this book of essays on “promblematic” songs… Skipping about the “problem” of Fall Out Boys’ stage gay kissing (not allowable, or allowable, or not welcome, or welcome, or from a point of privilege and straights even if it’s letting the air out of any homophobes in the audience, or… I don’t know) and around the flutterings we have Weezer.  And I’ve seen this before… an amusing song, “Pink Triangle”.

I’m dumb, she’s a lesbian
I thought I had found the one

An expression of unrequited love and then onto sexual frustration (two cousins which in our post sexual revolution world will be conflated) slides effortlessly into that “incel” zone of deplorable attitudes.  Or, maybe we’re just wanting to string the thread back and fiat it out of existence somehow.

This week’s Willamette Week presents the somewhat controversial oped writer for The New York Times — had a tweet history that I’ve never bothered to parse because I don’t much care about the controversy and am not swearing by her and against her.  But there’s a strange whisp right about here

What’s useful about this other philosophy is that it reorients First Amendment rights around the listener instead of the speaker. There’s a difference between what you want to see and what you don’t want to see. That’s the animating idea behind spam filters, and I think we have to move toward that.

The gate-keepers will have their own ideology, and set the terms of service to their perceived “Overton Window”.   The problem with her comes in her designation of the “far right” as the source of criticism against her — I saw some criticism on her from “far right” sources.  But I also saw criticism from — which was about the same — from “right” sources.  I didn’t peer too closely, but I also never saw the use of the phrase “reverse racism” specifically, which at this point is the loaded term that will get assigned to people even if they don’t use it.
The search engines can make the designation.  The Onion parody falls off the mark, lest we entangle the old Iraq War protesters and see how closely they were sitting next to fellow 9/11 truthers rambling on about “globalists”, with a good deal of overlap of rhetoric that wasn’t necessarily parsed out.
Or, “re-orients from speaker to listener” grounds back to, firstly — recommunicating whatever the listener would want to hear, or — as seems to be more the case, as they are trying to get some people out of the “fox news echo chamber” or the “anti-vax search engine resultings” — what someone thinks the listener should be hearing as opposed to what they are hearing, but only for them and not us the enlightened.  Or, maybe we’re in “safe space” land — “I read dangerous books”, or no you don’t.

Pete Buttigieg versus Mike Gravel

April 1st, 2019

Why is Pete Buttigieg enjoying a “moment”?  Well, he’s 0ut of Washington.  Theoretically, as mayor of a middle sized city, is “doing” some “things” “productive”-wise.

It’s a bit of what Howard Dean enjoyed against a bunch of Senators going into 2004, except there’s no central animating issue of the Iraq War.  Unless it’s a Maybe ambivalence toward the “me-too” movement and the weary castigations of the likes of “touchy feeley” Biden and a bit of a “sure, the new Supreme Court Justice is likely guilty, but I don’t want an investigation into my high school yearbook” for some of the female Justice Committee Senators in the race?

You may take the gender issue into a different direction, if you wish.

Also a good lunge against the bi-coastal — the horrors of the 2010 and 2014 mid-terms were that it affected a Democratic Party talking amongst itself in those enclaves, and so losing a grip on MIPAWI.  Does Buggigieg represent a geographic center of electoral gravity?

Is Mike Gravel enjoying a “moment” right now — or is the fact that a couple of youths set up a twitter account after hearing him on a podcast just argue that there’s a couple of youths who set up a twitter account after hearing him on a podcast?  (Ah, youth and their aversion to a full scale war against Russia, as suggested by post Trump elected liberal cable news outlet policy of MSNBC)…  He declaims any chance of winning, which… is a pre-requisite for winning.

is he or isn’t he?

March 31st, 2019

Apparently this search brought someone to this blog.

“The 9/11 Truth Asshole Mario”.

I don’t know whether or not Mario is an asshole.  I don’t know what he believes happened on 9/11.  But I need to make this point: Mario is a Human Being, goddamnedit, entitled to the dignity of humanity.

Can’t we all get along?  Agree to disagree?

I’ll rescind the gist of this message if you can inform me how it is Mario is an asshole.